The New York Yankees are one of the most storied baseball franchises in history, but their aggressive approach to retiring uniform numbers has created an interesting problem.
The franchise appears to be having a difficult time issuing uniform numbers to players. So far, the organization has retired 22 uniform numbers, eight more than any other MLB team.
Once the other three numbers the team is currently unavailable are factored in, that only leaves 75 numbers in the rotation for coaches and players.
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However, the Yankees invited 69 players to spring training this year. But even with a smaller Opening Day roster, the team still faced a uniform numbers supply problem.
Yankees director of clubhouse operations Lou Cucuzza told The Athletic that low inventory makes his job that much more difficult, but he offered a possible solution.
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Cucuzza suggested that the team end uniform numbers for manager Aaron Boone and the rest of the coaching staff. He also pointed out that many of the coaches choose not to wear full uniforms on the benches during games.
Many managers and coaches in the majors routinely hide the top of their uniform under a hoodie.
Cucuzza pitched the idea to a league executive, but MLB «does not want to authorize such a change yet,» according to a report in The Athletic.
The idea hasn’t been formally rejected, so there’s a chance the league might consider implementing the change in the future. No other team in the majors has reported having this problem.
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If MLB decides to stop issuing uniform numbers to coaches, it would certainly ease the demand in the Bronx. But no matter what, the Yankees will likely be more selective in retiring their uniform numbers going forward.